I’m a new trial user giving Roon spin after hearing so much about it, yet failing to understand what about it would make it better than Tidal’s official app if not mixing with a local library. (I have a local library, but I’m not even connecting Roon to it, most of it’s contents is irrelevant to me now, and the rest is on Tidal anyway.)
I have one (fairly irrelevant but still, Roon may be interested in knowing) technical issue, but the rest of my query is questions about features that seem to be missing, or I can’t find them, or I’m unsure of how they are used etc. This is a set of questions looking for official answers, more than community guesses, thus I’m posting to @support .
- The technical issue: I’ve noticed if I run Roon (Win32, Win64) if run inside a VMWare VM (tried hardware versions for Workstation 12, 14, and 15, latest VMWare tools installed), Roon only displays a black window. You can see where the buttons to click are, you can click them, but it only ever displays a solid black window. Workstation supports OpenGL 3.0 (it supports 4.0) and is often used in much more intensive 3D (DirectX and OpenGL) based applications (Photoshop, CAD/rendering workstations, etc.) so it’s not a matter of the ability to run it but some glitch in the way Roon is rendering the window that’s not agreeing with it. Minor issue for an uncommon usage, I know, and as a workaround one can install Roon Server and hit it with Roon as a client on the host machine, or on a mobile device, but in some corporate settings that wouldn’t be possible and the environment would have to be contained inside a VM with no access outside.
Again, not exactly a priority requirement for Roon development, but you may like to know such an issue exists, and is likely a simple fix with how the rendering of the window is setup.
Now onto some questions, specifically regarding Tidal integration. I saw another thread that it was confirmed that saving tracks to Tidal playlists isn’t supported right now. Is that something that will be supported in the near future? It makes it pretty inconvenient to need to run Roon and Tidal at the same time to search for any track I discover in Roon, favorite, then switch to Tidal, and add it into a playlist.
Does playing tracks, radio, playlists, albums in Roon, register with Tidal as having been a play in a way that it can contribute to Tidal’s AI profile for My Mixes, “Recommended (category) for you…” etc? I know with SONOS, Apple/Tidal/Deezer all get the feedback, as items I play with SONOS apps show up in the services’ “Recently played” in their own apps. So far, I’m not seeing that happen with Tidal and Roon, which is surprising since Roon is more deeply integrated with Tidal than SONOS is, but it could be on a delay like other synchronization features. Is this something that is integrated? I.E. playing Tidal content in Roon, registering as Recently Played, and affecting Tidal’s recommendation and mix generating AI? If using Roon effectively “breaks” the My Mixes content generation, that’s a potentially harmful effect of using Roon on the Tidal experience.
I know there’s been discussion of it, but are there any plans to bring support for My Mixes and “Recommended (playlists/tracks/albums/stations) for you” features of Tidal into Roon? Those are recent editions in Tidal that I feel REALLY bring Tidal up to speed in competing with Spotify and Apple for the first time ever. It’s somewhat less relevant if the answer to #3 is “no”, and I know Roon is caught between two worlds as a streaming front-end and a library management system. I do know SONOS, USB Audio Player Pro, and BubbleUPnP all support My Mixes, SONOS supports “Recommended for you”, and does feed back into the AI/Recently played, I can’t confirm the others. But ultimately as music goes more into streaming, supporting major features of the streaming service seems an important core feature of Roon.
Most of that applies (for now) only to Tidal since Qobuz offers very little in the way of discovery, automation, and curation, expecting Roon to do all the heavy lifting. They’ve hinted discovery is a priority for them so I assume that will change, but right now they’re content pointing people to Roon to do that work. However it seems like it should still be something on the roadmap since no doubt Qobuz, if they survive, will have more features on this order at some point.
- I noticed the “Genres” categories created in a search only contain content within items in your own library. Like with Roon Radio, it would be great if this feature could be expanded to include all of Tidal/Qobuz content. Neither Tidal nor Qobuz has a robust way to find genre content such as “Worldbeat” while Roon does a good job finding…all 3 tracks in my library that fit it’s description, which isn’t handy for really digging deeper into that genre if I feel like exploring it. I know in 1.6 you added much broader “non-library” support for Radio, and I’m curious if there’s plans to extend that thinking. Ultimately, the whole purpose of subscribing to Tidal/Qobuz is to treat their entire catalogue as our own personal library, and as a very heavy library manager, Roon would be ideal managing that massive 60+M track library better than the thin streaming clients from the services do. Having to favorite everything to include it in Roon feels like it would undercut the real power of what Roon is really capable of doing.
I’m still evaluating Roon. There’s features I love about it. And features that drive me crazy about it, particularly if it doesn’t feed back into Tidal’s AIs and recommendation, and Roon’s current inability to manage Tidal’s (and/or Qobuz’) playlists or add songs directly puts a big damper on the best way to use Roon Radio for discovery. At present, Tidal’s own AI for mix generation and recommendations has become very good, and it’s a shame to leave Roon vs Tidal as an either-or proposition when it could be an enhancement rather than a replacement for the featureset. Similarly Roon Radio is great, and in some ways better than Tidal’s track/album radio…but not always. Roon Radio seems to delve deeper and Tidal radio shallower, that’s great! But some lists, Tidal comes up with a great radio list, and Roon comes up with no list at all.
Still, I feel like in some ways I’m debating paying $120yr/$500 just to bolt on an external improved (usually) radio AI onto Tidal rather than something that truly integrates. BUT, I know Roon is always changing, so I’d like to know how much of this is or isn’t actively being considered at present.
(Edited for typo’s errors, clarity, etc.)